Have you ever thought about what lies beneath our feet in the sheer depths of our planet? According to scientists, it’s an incredibly vast ecosystem swarming with life. After observations during the past few years, a large group of international scientists recently revealed that several billions of microorganisms live miles beneath the subsurface of the Earth.
The group of scientists presented their work in 2018 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. For the first time, they calculated the size of this mysterious treasure trove of under-surface life during their research. According to the group, it was way bigger than they ever expected! As per the presented report, around 70% of the total microbes on this planet use to live underground. Cumulatively, these microbes represent approximately 15-23 billion tonnes of carbon in total. Astonishingly, this number is hundreds of times greater than the total carbon mass of humankind living on the Earth’s surface. Also, this deep subsurface biosphere is surprisingly almost twice the volume of all oceans.
First glances suggest that the massive genetic diversity of microorganisms living below the surface can be comparable to, or possibly even exceed, the life living above the surface. For this reason, scientists have nicknamed this under-subsurface ecosystem the “subterranean Galapagos.” According to them, mainly bacteria and archaea, the evolutionary cousins of bacteria, dominate beneath the surface, with a fair number of eukarya too.
To reach the definitive findings, the team of researchers brought together several dozen studies, including samples unearthed by drilling 1.55-3.1 miles (2.5-5 kilometers) into the Earth’s crust, in the inland continents, and the seafloor as well. The subsurface of the Earth is the place where one can hardly expect to find life thriving, especially due to crushing pressures, intense heat, and scarcity of light and nutrients. That’s why the researchers hope that this newly found ecosystem can deliver a greater knowledge of subsurface life, and help push the limits of life on Earth and beyond.
Staying at the Yellowstone Ranch Is No Longer Just a Dream
Yellowstone is a Paramount series starring Kevin Costner. In its four seasons, this drama series about a powerful family of ranchers has certainly gained a following of over five million viewers. If you are among those who enjoy the show and looking at the magnificent vistas and landscapes of its setting, you’ll surely enjoy this bit of news. It’s now possible to stay at the famous Chief Joseph Ranch where the show is filmed.
The Set of the Yellowstone Series
The Dutton family ranch is actually the Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana. It’s a functioning cattle ranch, a family home, and a vacation spot. The location manager for the Yellowstone series thought it would be the perfect setting for the show. After a call to the owners, the series found its unique and stunning filming location. The lodge great room, back porch, kitchen, front porch, and helipad have been used for the main house. The woods, several locations along the Bitterroot River, and the ranch cabins, barns, round pen, cemetery, and several other locations were used for filming as well.
Why It’s Called the Chief Joseph Ranch
When the property was homesteaded in 1880, it was known as the Shelton ranch. Federal Judge Howard Clark Hollister and glass tycoon William S. Ford bought the ranch in 1914 and renamed it the Ford and Hollister Ranch. They built a 6,000 square-foot lodge. It was sold in the early 1950s and named the Chief Joseph Ranch after the great Nez Perce chief.
Cabins are Available to Rent
The property has two cabins to rent – the Fisherman Cabin that was Lee Dutton’s cabin and the Ben Cook Cabin or Rip’s Cabin in the show. Up to eight people can stay in each cabin. The guest cabins are usually available only between March and the first week of January when filming of Yellowstone isn’t taking place. There is a three-night stay minimum and visitors are free to bring their own horses to the ranch!